Plans to build a large housing proposal in southwest Palm Beach County is dividing some over the issues of preservation and development.
GL Homes is looking to do a land swap,” exchanging land with Palm Beach County to be able to build in the Agricultural Reserve along 441 west of Boca Raton.
This is a massive undertaking, GL Homes Vice President Kevin Ratteree told the countys planning commission on Thursday.
This type of project is moving Palm Beach County forward and meeting a lot objectives and goals for long term benefits to the county, he said.
GL Homes is hoping to build 1,000 homes along with 277 workforce housing units and various other things, including a synagogue and a park.
In exchange, GL Homes would give the county $100 million in land it owns further north near Westlake for preservation and what GL president Misha Ezratti calls a, transformational water resource project.
Today, the county faces an array of challenges, including water quality and a lack of available workforce housing, Ezratti said in a statement.
Overall, the public benefits to our proposal are significant and will positively impact Palm Beach County for decades to come, the statement continued.
The project though has stiff opposition from the Coalition of Boynton West Residential Associations, known as COBWRA.
They object to developing the Agricultural Reserve, which was approved by voters in 1999 to set aside for preservation.
What we lose is all of this, in terms of developers now coming in, precedent has been set, preserved land is no longer sacrosanct, COBWRAs Barbara Roth said.
A final vote by Palm Beach County commissioners on the proposed development is set for Oct 24.